Photos: Huge boost for Arsenal, as £35m star confirms he is back in the squad for Palace game


Arsenal fans will breathe a huge sigh of relief after Shkodran Mustafi returned to full training after missing three games due to injury.

The German defender limped off the pitch just 25 minutes into the game in the Gunners 3-1 win over Stoke City, but took part in the full training yesterday.

The North London club struggled in his absence as they suffered 2-1 defeats at the hands of Everton and Manchester City, with the defense looking very fragile without their £35 million summers signing alongside Laurent Koscielny.

The Emirates club will face Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day and the Gunners will be desperate to get back on track to keep up with the rampaging Chelsea side at the top of the table.

The 24-year-old, who joined the club from Valencia in the summer has forged a solid partnership with Koscielny in the heart of the Gunners defence.

The club’s official account posted pictures on their social media of the German defender training at London Colney with a big smile on his face.

Mustafi also posted a picture on his Instagram account confirming that he is back in the squad for Sunday’s game:

Mustafi is a winner and anything less than winning is unacceptable to him. What is even more endearing is his willingness to share his unhappiness with his teammates, all for the cause of the team.

He has, having only been with the club for a matter of months, already taken up a role of leadership, is a significant voice in the dressing room and is now bringing a winning culture to the club.

His influence in the dressing room is being noticed in the results. Arsenal have not played their scintillating best for some time now. And yet, they have not been defeated in any competition since the opening day of the season loss to Liverpool. Mustafi may well be a Grinch-like figure for the team, but it is wholly necessary and wholly beneficial.

Wenger’s men head to Bournemouth in the midweek before a trip to Preston North End at the weekend in the third round of the FA Cup.

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